Friday, October 16, 2015
Would the Regents Resist Indefinite Archiving If the Legislature Were Mandated to Do It?
Minority Republicans in the legislature have complained about last-minute bills being pushed through and now an initiative has been filed to ban the practice.* However, the initiative also mandates that the legislature stream all hearings and then archive them indefinitely. It doesn't include the Regents. But one wonders whether the Regents would feel obliged to change their policy if such an initiative were enacted by voters.
Of course, the filing of an initiative doesn't mean it will get on the ballot or be passed. You need at least $2 million to hire signature gathering firms for the petition. This one, however, lists Charles Munger, Jr., a wealthy Republican who has the money for such a campaign, as a proponent. It was filed by a law firm that specializes in ballot matters so it appears to be a serious effort. If the initiative did get on the 2016 ballot, it might not be all that controversial. Who would be against a requirement that bills could not be enacted until 72 hours after filing so that legislators would have a chance to read them? (There is an exception for emergencies.) Who would oppose streaming and archiving legislative hearings?
*The proposed initiative is at https://www.oag.ca.gov/system/files/initiatives/pdfs/15-0083%20%28Legislature%20Transparency%29.pdf?